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MARLBOROUGH.

QfEOM OTTR OWN CORRESPONDENT.]

VISIT OF HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVEE-

NOB TO MAELBOBOUGH.

On Thursday, tlie Bth instant, his Excellency and Buit, attended by Messrs. Wemyss and Adams, started for the new Province of Marlborough. On their arrival at Fox Hill, they sat down to an excellent luncheon provided by Mrs. Gaukrodger, after which they proceeded in a heavy rain to Hooker's accom-modation-house.

The next morning, the weather fortunately having cleared up, they were at an early hour on the road again; and arrived that evening at the house of Messrs. Buckman and Jeffery, having called at the Top-house on the way. It is but fair to state that his Excellency expressed himself much pleased with the accommodation and attention that he received on the road.

On Saturday, at about twelve o'clock, the party halted at Mr. Pasley's station, where a number of gentlemen were assembled to receive his Excellency. After partaking of luncheon, a start was made for Langley Dale, the residence of Mr. Adams, where they arrived about six o'clock.

On Sunday, several gentlemen waited upon his Excellency at Mr. Adams's house ; and on Monday, about twenty of the most influential of the settlers escorted him to Beaverton, where he was warmly received by the inhabitants of the town. His Excellency stayed at the Beaver Hotel, where very comfortable apartments had been prepared for him by Mr. Pike, the landlord, at which his Excellency expressed himself very much pleased. The following address from the inhabitants of the province was then presented to him : —

[The address was published in the Nelson Examiner of the 3rd instant.]

To which his Excellency replied as follows :—

"Gentlemen— l thank you very much for the warm and pleasant welcome with which you have received me.

" I am satisfied you will conduct the affairs of your province well and wisely ; and I shall always remember with pleasure that your political nativity took place during the time I have had the honour to represent our gracious sovereign hi this colony. " I believe that local self-government is the birthright of Englishmen, and that they always manage •what concerns themselves quite as well, and much more to their own satisfaction, than could be done by any other set of men, however wise and well intentioned they may be. " Gentlemen, the success and moderation of your elder brothers at Hawke's Bay is very remarkable ; and I earnestly hope that the same prosperity awaits you : indeed, Providence has conferred bo many advantages on New Zealand, that nothing but man's mismanagement can prevent her rapid progress and ultimate success."

After' the deputation had left, his Excellency received a number of Maories, the Eev. H. F. Butt actting as interpreter.

On Tuesday, as had been previously arranged, his Excellency, accompanied by about twenty-five horsemen, rode through to Picton, the capital of the province, where H.M.S. Niger was lying ready to take him on board. On reaching the town, perhaps as Sretty a sight presented itself as can be well imagined, here, completely land-locked by wooded hills, lay the ship ; and the presence of a man-of-war of about 1,100 tons, lying within half-a-mile of the beach, was a great fact, and one of which the inhabitants might be justly proud. After luncheon at Mr. Downes' house, his Excellency proceeded to the site of the new institution, the first public building in the town, which now presented a very animated appearance, Captain Cracroft having kindly lent a number of flags, which were hoisted in every possible place, while the ship's band added greatly to the enjoyment of the sceno. The following address was then presented to him by Mr. Downes, the president of the institution :—

"May it please your Excellency to accept the warmest welcome from the inhabitants of Picton and the adjacent districts. "We would more particularly thank your Excel* lenoy for the selection of Pieton for the capital of the MvprortaMj *"dw« look with certainty upon the

rapid iniprovemet.t of the whole of the new province consequent upon such a selection. " We would also offer your Excellency the thanks of the members of the Picton Literary Institution for the kindness with which you consented to lay the foundation-stone of the first public building in tho new capital. " We hope that the conclusion of your Excellency's tour may be prosperous and pleasant ; and we shall ever look back witli feelings of pleasure and pride to the day when one of the bulwarks of Old England, within gunshot of the capital, awaited the representative of our most gracious Majesty, Queen Victoria." To which his Excellency replied : — " I thank you very'much for the very kind and flattering reception you have given me. " If the present occasion was a fit one for pleasantry, I should comment on your devoting your attention to literature and science at so early an age, and so soon after receiving baptism.

" The desire manifested for intellectual pursuits in a settlement so recently formed, deserves the highest commendation, and is a subject for sincere congratulation.

"It is often long before those who are engaged in tho pursuit of wealth and material prosperity recognise the superiority of mind over matter, and they are apt to undervalue everything which cannot be tested by their own experience. A little more information would, however, convince them that such views and opinions must necessarily interfere with and retard the accomplishment of their own wishes. At one time, the introduction of machinery was objected to by many, who felt convinced that a machine which could perform the labour of a hundred men would necessarily reduce wages, or throw a hundred persons out of employment ; and it remained for Mr. Babbage to prove, in his work on the ' Economy of Manufactures,' that this was a fallacy. " Mr. Babbage gave the manufacture of the needle as one of many examples. In early times the needle was made by hand, and was comparatively a costly article. It wos preserved with care, and as few were used, but few persons were employed in making it. Now that the needle is made by machinery, the cost is reduced to an almost nominal sum ; millions are made and used or wasted annually, and the number of persons employed in the making them is necessarily increased to an enormous extent.

"Another example is of very recent date: the introduction of railways was lamented by many persons, who thought that the use of coaches and horses, and those employed in connection with them, would be altogether superseded ; but it has recently been stated, that while three millions of persons are supported by railway works, the horses and carriages which carry people to and from the railways occupy quite as many as the coaches did prior to the introduction of railways.

"It is, however, quite useless that I should direct the attention of my hearers to such matters, as the erection of the building we are now inaugurating proves their recognition of the superiority of mind over matter. In a new country, too, where books are not easily procured, association is the best if not almost the only mode of securing literary and scientific information. Societies may obtain books, instruments, and lectures, which individuals could not procure without much difficulty and considerable expense. They enable men to meet and receive or communicate information, and they provide occupation and amusement for many an hour, winch might have been either wasted or ill spent.

" Gentlemen, you have done well and wisely in forming this association. I thank you for permitting me to share in this interesting ceremony, and I earnestly wish you that success which your energy and thoughtfulness so well deserve."

His Excellency then proceeded to lay the founda-tion-stone of the new building, which had been quarried in the neighbourhood, and very carefully executed by Mr. Bevan, of Picton ; the date in raised figures being cut on one face of the stone. A bottle, containing a few current coins, a newspaper, and a copy of the address, was deposited in a cavity prepared for its reception. The Bey. H. F. Butt then offered an appropriate prayer; and the ceremony was concluded by the band playing " God save the Queen."

A deputation then waited upon his Excellency, and presented the following memorial : — "To his Excellency Colonel Thomas Gore Browne, C.8., Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and

over the Colony of New Zealand,

" May it please your Excellency — We, the undersigned, having been deputed by the inhabitants of Picton and of Queen Charlotte Soutid, humbly seek an interview with your Excellency, in order to bring the following matters under your notice ; namely— " That, from the inadequate provision made in this district for the late revision of the Electoral 8011, scarcely more than one-eighth of those qualified have been enabled to avail themselves of the electoral privilege, and consequently tho new Council will have the destinies of this portion of the Province in its hands almost unrepresented as it is. " That the public works connected with Picton and the Wairau Boad having been hitherto neglected by the various administrations under which they have lived, the holders of town and suburban sections are desirous to know, if the position of Picton as the capital of the province is to be real or only nominal, so as to enable them to judge whether they had better remain in the locality or abandon their interests there, seeing that town sections in particular are utterly worthless, unless the original intention under which they were sold, namely, a good road for traffic between Picton and the Plain, be carried out.

"They therefore respectfully request your Excellency to inform them, should your Excellency deem it within your province, if the fact of Picton being constituted the capital, necessitates the establishment of the Provincial Executive offices there, and if the General Government offices will be fixed iv the township, and whether it be the intention of your Excellency to proclaim it a port of entry at once. " That, hi consequence of the separation, all public works have been stopped, and that the settlers in the township are at present entirely dependent upon Government expenditure for their living. " They therefore pray your Excellency to cause the erection of any public building connected with the General Government, to be proceeded with as early as convenient, in order to induce as many as possible of the labouring population to remain in the place. «' (Signed) " James Mcßeth " William Strachan " Courtnay Kenny "Henry Handyside " Bobert Blaymires."

To which his Excellency replied, that the matters referred to were subjects which should be considered by the Executive Council, and that he would cause the memorial to be forwarded with as little delay as possible.

In the evening a public dinner was given to his Excellency, Captain Kenny in the chair, at which Colonel Mould, Captain Cracroft, and several of the officers of the Niger were present, the whole party numbering about forty. Several toasts were drunk, and the proceedings were carried on with much spirit, until ten o'clock, when his Excellency went on board.

On Wednesday morning, his Excellency, accompanied by Captain Steward, Colonel Mould, auc^ the Bey. H. F. Butt, walked to the Maori pa at Waikawa, and on their return immediately joined the Niger. A large party was-aßsembled on the beach, and on the boat pulling off, three hearty English cheers were given, which we are sure were not a mere matter of form, but that the settlers were actuated by a true spirit of loyalty and respect, not only to his Excellency as the representative of our Sovereign, but to Colonel Browne in his private capacity, as a most amiable, pleasant, urbane, true English gentleman. Shortly after his Excellency's arrival on board, the Niger got under-way ; and certainly it was a beautiful sight to watch her slowly steaming down one of the most magnificient harbours in the world. A stiff breeze was blowing at the time, but so sheltered is the harbour that there was only a slight ripple on the water ; and as the ship majestically glided past Mabel Island, and gradually disappeared round the point of one of the hills that overlook the Sound, carrying with her the hearty good wishes of the lookers-on for ill oa boardf we could not help tkialcing et the time

when this must become tho resort of many large ships from all parts of the world, and that Pieton really was, as a gentleman there present expressed, a real God made town.

Beaverton, December 23.

On Monday, the 19th instant, the Bey. T. D. Nicholson delivered a higlily instructive and interesting lecture, in the new building for the Literary Institution, Picton, on the Biography of Chalmers. The building, though in an unfinished state, was, by being covered with an awning, made suitable for the purpose ; and it cannot but be looked upon a3 a promising feature of the young town to see, at so early a period ,of its existence, such exertions made in the means of acquiring knowledge. There were about forty present ; and Mr. Downes, the President of the Institution, being railed to the chair, the Lectuker traced the progress of the Beverend Doctor through his illustrious career, interspersing his discourse with numerous anecdotes illustrative of his character. Thank 3 being given by acclamation to the Lecturer and Chairman, the meeting separated higlily pleased ; this being the first lecture delivered in the first public building in the capital of Marlborough.

DINNEB TO W. ADAMS, ESQ.

On Tuesday, the 20th instant, in pursuance of an invitation numerously signed, Mr. Adams met a number of his friends and supporters, at Pike's Hotel, Beaverton, at a public dinner, where they had assembled to thank him for his successful exertions in obtaining separation for the new Province of Marlborough. The dinner, in consequence of some unforeseen difficulties, could not be had at the Marlborough Hotel, as advertised. The old Court House was, therefore, prepared for the occasion ; and great credit is clue to Mr. Pike, the landlord of the hotel, for the manner in which the whole of the arrangements were conducted ; and to those who knew Beaverton two years ago, this could not but be a most gratifying contrast to the state of the accommodation at that time.

At a little after seven o'clock, the chair was taken by Joseph Wabd, Esquire, avlio was the Chairman of the Separation Committee, and between fifty and sixty sat down to a most excellent dinner. After the usual loyal toasts had been given and duly honoured, the Chairman rose and said : The toast which he was about to propose to them was one which he was sure would meet with a hearty response from all. It required no preface ; but ho could not refrain from expressing his congratulations on the present occasion, and those who appreciated the difficulties overcome, would indeed congratulate themselves upon the possible future. He should not attempt anything like a history ; the matter was fresh in all their minds. As chairman of the Separation Committee, few knew better than himself what had been done, and by whotn j and without wishing to lessen, in the smallest degree, the merit of numerous privates who had served well and truly in the cause, he must claim for the guest of the evening the still greater merit of good generalship. He had been the coinmander-in-chief, and we have now to thank him whilst rejoicing over our victory. The toast having been drunk with three hearty cheers,

Mr. Adams rose and said, gentlemen, I beg most sincerely to thank you for the honour you confer on me this day. I may truly call it one of the brightest days of my life, to find my exertions for my fellowsettlers so fully and cordially appreciated ; and doubly doe 3 the happiness come home to me, for not only have you this day shown your confidence in me as a public man, but what is far dearer to my feelings, you have long so kindly dealt witli me, that I am proud to be enabled to 3ay that "from the length and breadth of the Province, with very few exceptions (which I trust every day will become less), I am on the most friendly footing with all my fellow-settlers. And what on earth is dearer to man than the hand of friendship ? I have lived among you without any break for the last eight years, and am, I think, fully entitled to the name of a working settler, for until very lately I have been wholly engaged in the labours on my stations, and I believe can handle my tools with any fanner's son. I never took any part in political movements, until separation was first mooted : tho first notice of which was given by Messrs." Charles Watts and Pasley : all honour to them for the same ! They called a meeting of the settlers at the Wairau Hotel on the 14th day of May, 1857, to take the matter of separation into consideratioivwliich meeting was vevy fully attended, and it was unanimously agreed to petition to be separated from Nelson : and a committee was formed to carry the same into effect. I was one of that committee, and conjointly we prepared a memorial to his Excellency the Governor, praying for Separation. Being then quite new to the affairs of the Province, many of the minor statistics put in by me were doae so upon very imperfect information, and were not quite correct, which gave the opponents of the measure an advantage they took every care to work upon ; but they could not contradict the more startling facts there stated : — That from the sale of land £125,000 had been taken from the district, whilst from the rest of the Province of Nelson only £33,000 had been realized, and that not more than £2,000 out of these moneys had ever been expended here, whilst Nelson had benefited by the large balance: — That we were without any acting Magistrate, Police, Schools, Post Office, &c. ; or, to sum up all we were totally neglected. And I beg here to repeat a saying of mine which has been grossly misrepresented, " that the Nelson Government had not expended one farthing in any way to tend to the spiritual and moral welfare of these districtß." The petition was numerously signed ; and, had it not been for statements, causes, and reasons, well known to most of U9, but which had now better be forgotten, would have been presented, and, I believe, granted. lam justified in saying this, by the immediate passing of the New Provinces Bill, in which (let us give all credit to the Nelson members) they were among the most strenuous supporters of that measure. Separation, for somo short time after this, remained in abeyance, until that bill passed ; then, I believe, a meeting of the settlers was called at Beaver, and a committee formed to carry out that measure, at which Mr. Eyes was chairman. That meeting I never had any notice of, and am perfectly unaware of anything having been done by the committee then named towards carrying out our measure, and I am inclined to think nothing was done. Another public meeting was called by Mr. Ward, which was held at the Wairau Hotel, and very numerously attended, when a committee was again formed, to prepare a petition under the New Provinces Act. I was not of that committee. A petition was accordingly prepared, being a copy of the one used at Hawke's Bay, with a few trifling alterations, to meet the different features of the case. That petition was numerously signed ; and at another public meeting, held at the Beaver, the settlers there, by a very large majority, voted for the measure, and the claim of liberty went forth, and our cry was— " Eise from every plain and valley, Mountain-top, and cottage-door ; Every man amongst you rally, From our centre to our shore. Let's be true to one another, Unity is power and strength ; Hand to hand, each man and brother,

We shall conquer them at length," This cry was well met, and the best proof that can be given of its being the unanimous feeling of the district was shown in the signatures of the whole of the resident electors, with the exception of about six ! From the unfortunate course taken, of striking so many ofthe electors off the roll, it became desirable to have the petition presented before the old roll had passed away ; the present roll not containing half the names of those that are fully entitled to be placed thereon, so many old settlers, and some of them large holders, having been omitted. Still it is, however unfair (until further registration), the electoral roll of the district, and we must nbide by it. A meeting of the committee was then called, to arrange as to forwarding the petition to Auckland, and as it was, from the shortness of the time,consideredmo9t important that a special mesaenger should take the same. I was requested to do so. I accordingly started, and hi my way through Nelson left, in courtesy, with the Superintendent copies of the petition, plans, &c. ; also a copy of a petition, praying that Waitohi may be made a port of entry. I ar* fired in Auckland on Saturday, tlw 24th of September.

On the following Monday, I presented the petition, and was in attendance at the Government Offices every day, until the 4th of October, when the Order iv Council was signcd,making this a new Province, under the name of Marlborough, to commence from the Ist day of November, 1859. I have heard it aaid, the same was done by the Council at Auckland witlvout due consideration ; but such was far from the case ; for the members of the Council required all conditions to be fulfilled, and treated the matter with very full consideration mid attention before allowing it to pass. I am glad to take this public opportunity of saying that, as your agent, I was received by the Council at Auckland with every courtesy and consideration. Yet everything relating to separation was treated by them in a most strict and businesslike manner ; and, as an old practitioner, I may be allowed to say I never met with sounder and more clear-headed men than the present Council at Auckland, and the colony may justly be proud of having such a talented Executive at the head of affairs. On my return from Auckland, I came down by the East Coast to Napier, being very desirous, by personal observation, to judge of the progress and prosperity of those who were the first to avail themselves of the New Provinces Act. I called upon Mr. Fitzgerald, the Superintendent of that Province, and he very kindly gave me every information I required, as to the working of the same. The Government at Napier have made the best road I have ever seen in New Zenland, to connect the beacli with the town, passing over hills similar to the Port Hills at Nelson. The harbour at Napier is, at present, a j poor one, but is capable of being much improved, which I was informed was shortly to be done ; and, from the works already performed, I am satisfied it will be executed well. Hawke's Bay has the advantage of a fine unsold country ; but Napier is very badly off for wood and water ; yet, even under these disadvantages, it promises soon, by the energy and unanimity of its inhabitants, to take its place among the foremost provinces of the colony. A very short time since, Hawke's Bayhad only a population of 200, now it numbers about 3,000, and the increase has principally taken place since separation. We have many advantages which Napier has not. We have some of the finest harbours in New Zealand in our Province ; we abound in splendid timber and water ; we have yet some few thousand acres of good land to sell. Let us show ourselves true prototypes of Hawkes' Bay, in energy and unanimity. I have heard many observations as to the irregularity of our proceedings hi obtaining separation. Some say wo have no right to have our northern boundary so near to Nelson ; a learned lawyer says, our southern boundary is illegal, not being far enough off. Again, that our petition was signed by a dead man ; I can only answer to that, that I believe I had about 180 lively signatures of men who were residing above ground at the time, and I trust they may be for many years to come. As to the former objections, I would reply in the well known phrase of one of the Nelson Executive, "It ia all bosh ! " There may be some who still think we have been premature ; I believe their number is very small. There is one fact clear to us all, the longer we waited for separation, the less land we should have. I have before stated, that up to 1857, £125,000 had been realized by the sale of land in these districts ; since that time £32,000 ; making a total of £157,733, that these districts have yielded by the sale of land to the Nelson Province. I think this is the most conclusive answer that can be given to the advocates of procrastination ; that, had the first memorial been carried out, we should have saved more than £27,000 for the use of these districts. We have, therefore, paid a penalty of £27,000 for our procrastination ! To turn to brighter themes, one of the first fruits of separation is the gratifying visit of his Excellency the Governor to this province. lam sure we all feel grateful to him for the very courteous and kind manner lie displayed towards us, and the practical and considerate remarks he made for our benefit. One thing is very certain, he left our shores with the sincere and heartfelt good wishes of his godchildren, for his happiness and welfare. Gentlemen, in conclusion, I thank you rao3t cordially for the patience with which you have listened to me ; and again returning you my warmest thanks for the honour conferred upon me this day, I conclude by proposing that the motto of our new province may truly be, " Concordia Crescimus."

Mr. Seymour then proposed "The Province of Marlborough," and added, though its name was last on the list of provinces, he hoped it would not be the least in importance.

The toast having been duly responded to, Mr. GouiiTEß rose and said, that whatever might be the capabilities of a province, if it did not possess a port available for foreign trade, it would necessarily be subjected to great disadvantages, and instanced the Province of Tarannki in illustration, winch, although possessing a soil fertile and fruitful, suffered many disadvantages through the want of a good harbour. Iv Picton, the Province of Marlborough possesses one of the finest harbours in New Zealand, which, when made accessible by a good road, will give the province the advantage required. He, therefore, proposed " Prosperity to Picton, and success to its inhabitants."

The toast having been duly honoured,

Mr. Downes returned thanks, and said he trusted that all would prosper together, and that unity of feeling would subsist.

Mr. Gibson proposed "The Separation Committee," without whose exertions separation would not have been obtained.

The toast having been duly responped to, Mr. Seyjiouh, in returning thanks, expressed, on behalf of the committee, the satisfaction it afforded them that their exertions had been brought to a successful termination, and had met the approbation of their fellow-settlers. He hoped that separation would now be considered as a thing of the past, and that, being now separated, all would join in one bond of unity.

Mr. Watts, as one of the committee, could not individually take mjUch credit to himself, but considered they were greatly indebted to Mr. Adams for the success of the movement; and hoped that all would unite in carrying on the business of local selfgovernment, and work together in unity.

The evening was enlivened by several good songs, and various other toasts were given and duly responded to.

Thanks being given to the Chairman, the company broke up about midnight, having Bpent a most pleasant evening.

On Tuesday evening, the house of Mr. Brydou, situate near the delta, Wairau, was destroyed by fire. The house was built of mud, and covered with thatch ; and the destruction is so complete, that of the woodwork not even the verandah post 3 remain. It appears that the thatch was accidentally ignited by a candle. There being no neighbours nearer than two or three miles, before assistance could be got the fire had made such rapid progress that little was saved of the furniture. The exact loss is not at present known.

The writs have not yet been received. It is reported that the old Court House here has been engaged for the purpose of a Land Office.

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

MARLBOROUGH., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XVIII, Issue 105, 31 December 1859

Word Count
4,829

MARLBOROUGH. Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XVIII, Issue 105, 31 December 1859

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